60% of SMEs globally not supported to tackle bribery and corruption

A new global survey by ACCA has revealed 60% believe there is insufficient guidance for SMEs to combat bribery and corruption.

The research, commissioned by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), has highlighted that of 932 cross-sector accountants surveyed, fewer than one in three believe there is enough support for small businesses to tackle bribery and corruption.

In the professional accountancy body’s report Combating bribery in the SME sector, respondents outlined fears that procedures and policies and risk assessments are not always in place to help management and the employees.

The survey showed how SMEs value practising accountants for their all-round business support services, but that there is still a pressing need for collaborative work with governments around the world, inter-governmental departments and other stakeholders.

‘Bribery and corruption is not only a concern for SMEs. It is a concern forour society as a whole which continuously erodes ethical values and norms.The long-term harmdone to the wholeeconomy is recognisedby many in the businessworld in Pakistan, and the officialgovernment messagesthat bribery andcorruption must notbe tolerated should berepeated loud and often.But practically supporting SMEs in Pakistan to tackle bribery and corruption should be the first step.’ – Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan

Jason Piper, global policy lead for Business Law at ACCA, highlighted the challenges that SMEs face in understanding the legal requirements in connection with bribery and corruption.

Mr Piper pinpointed SMEs globally are overwhelmingly seeing bribery and corruption as having a negative impact on the business environment.

He said: ‘The findings from this survey are conclusive and show businesses are desperately searching for that much-needed support.

Globally, 62% of survey respondents believe SMEs that demonstrate strong anti-bribery credentials will be more likely to be able to trade with large businesses and public bodies. This reflects that fact that global enterprises are increasingly concerned about their supply chain exposure to a range of risks associated with CSR, including bribery and corruption issues.

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